Motor racing is not without its share of traditions – especially when it comes to drinking on the podium. At the end of a Formula One grand prix, the winning drivers traditionally drink champagne – non-alcoholic sparkling rosewater in some Middle Eastern countries, or milk at the Indy 500 – and douse each other with it in the process.
Daniel Ricciardo took things a (literal) step further when he started his own tradition that's become known as the “Shoey.” But now it looks like he's putting the practice to rest.
If you've watched the odd F1 race to the end over the past year's time, chances are you've seen the odd practice. When Ricciardo lands on the podium (as he has in one third of all the races he's contested with Red Bull Racing in the past four seasons), he doesn't just drink the champagne from the bottle or from his trophy – he drinks from his sweaty racing boot. Yeah, the one he's been wearing through the entire race.
He's also managed to rope others into the practice, including rival drivers, honoraries, and sportscasters. Actors like Gerard Butler and Sir Patrick Stewart former drivers turned broadcasters like David Coulthard, Mark Webber, and Martin Brundle, and Ricciardo's own boss Christian Horner have all taken part since he first kicked it off, so to speak, at the German Grand Prix this time last year.
Ricciardo didn't invent the practice out of nowhere, though. Already popular among Aussie surfers, fishers, and soldiers, it reached motorsport podiums over the last couple of years – first in Australia's own Supercars series, then in MotoGP, and now in F1 (thanks to Ricciardo).
Now it seems Ricciardo is preparing to put up his feet, so to speak, and give it a rest. He was disappointed when Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas refused to partake on the podium at the Red Bull Ring in Austria earlier this month. "I heard the Finns drink. I really heard that. But Valtteri did not carry his flag well last Sunday," said Ricciardo. "Shame on him. Wow. Valtteri Bottas. Disappointed. That's it. No more shoeys." Daniel did admit, though, that the prospect of the top three drivers all being hospitalized at the same time with some digestive infection or food poisoning wasn't a particularly good idea, especially with so many grands prix packed so close together.
Another nail in the proverbial coffin was driven in at the recent F1 Live event in London, where Ricciardo said some fans were getting carried away. "I'm just walking along, minding my business and they're like 'do a shoey'...I don't actually just take my shoe off while I’m walking in the street and drink out of it. I feel like I dug a hole for myself with this one," Ricciardo told Reuters. "On that note, I feel like it's been fun. I want to say it's run its course; we'll see what happens."